Accession number: 1975.52.14
Object type: Screen Fire
Date: before May 1 1975
Measurements: 89 cm W x 127 cm H
Narrative: Fire screens developed out of a need to protect occupants from the heat of the flames. Records of these screens date back to the medieval period in Europe; they are listed in numerous fifteenth century inventories. These screens occupied a central place in a house and as such, the quality reflected the socio-economic status of the owner. A variety of materials were used to make the screens including wood, leather, wicker, and decorative cloth.
The use of screens had become increasingly common by the nineteenth century. Unwanted textiles and leathers were reworked into panels for the screens. Scrapwork paper kits were also commercially available to appliqué onto panels. Following the introduction of electricity, central heating, and enclosed fires, screens became largely decorative as opposed to functional pieces.
Description: A folding firescreen with four legs. Fabric has image of a woman, man and dog, framed by an archway of flowers. Folding frame has rows of spindles - row of 16, with row of 7 above on each side. Gold rings in top - 4 on one side and 3 on the other.